Start a broiler chicken business on your small farm

 If you've decided to start a small farming business raising chickens for meat, you're probably wondering where to start. You get chicks, raise them to slaughter size, process them or have them processed and sell them, right? It sounds easy, but organizing your broiler business takes work. Follow these steps and you'll be racing very soon - and making money selling delicious pasture-fresh chicken.

Start a broiler chicken business on your small farm

Know the Laws

You should start by investigating your state and local laws regarding poultry sales. This will feed into the next two steps, where you will determine your market and write a business plan .

Many states require meat chickens to be processed in a USDA-approved facility in order to be legally sold to the public. However, in some states you can sell whole chickens directly to restaurants if your poultry operation is small enough. You may also be allowed to sell whole chickens to the public as long as you sell them directly from your farm.

Research the laws that apply to you, as knowing where you will be processing the chickens and how much it will cost will affect your business plan.

Learn how to raise chickens for meat

How will you raise your chickens? On pasture or confined? Learn how to keep chicks healthy and raise them to market size without losing too many to disease or predators.

Know your market

Determining your market is the next step for your new chicken business. Who are your local buyers? Do you sell to consumers directly from your farm, and if so, how will they know where to find you? Do you sell to restaurants?

Also consider whether you will sell conventional Cornish rocks, the fast-growing cross that is the standard in the large-scale poultry industry, or opt for a heritage breed or a hybrid specifically bred for pasture foraging, such as the Freedoms . Rangers . Your market will determine this; are you selling to people who know the difference and care? Pasture-raised birds may take longer to reach market weight, ultimately costing you more money. Will the market support the price per pound you need to charge to be profitable?

Write a business plan

Identifying your market is part of your business plan, but you'll need more information than that to create a guide for your business as you build it.Another part of the business plan is to establish specific and measurable goals. How many broilers will you raise for your first run? What is the market size? What equipment will you need for them: fences, housing, waterers and feeders?Also be sure to consider capital. Specifically, how many do you have? You will need to consider equipment costs such as building a coop. Another cost is the chicks themselves. Also, you will have to pay for all the food they need until they reach market size. You may also need medication or supplements.

Raise your chicks

Once you have your chicks you can start. Chicks need special care - the temperature must be kept constantly warm, as if their mother hen is there to keep them warm. You will also need to prevent early problems like sticking and monitor diseases such as coccidiosis.

Thanks for Reading!

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